How Much Sugar Are You Eating?
Sugar, sugar, sugar...the magical fruit, the more you eat.....WAIT....wrong food group!
But for real, it is NO surprise that the over consumption of sugar has been tied to diabetes, obesity, hyperactivity, and dental cavities. I mean, have you ever watched the evolution of kids behavior after eating sugar? If not, come to my house...my son will put on a good show for you! All of a sudden a switch flips and they are like the Tasmanian devil!! Can you imagine what's going on in their little brains?? Heck, just Google "sugar and the brain" and see for yourself. It's frightening!
I know, but it’s sweet and crave-worthy, and (too often) added to processed foods to improve taste, texture, and shelf life. Sugar is in E V E R Y T H I N G…have you noticed that? Everything from tomato sauce to salad dressings to organic “all natural” baby foods. We can’t escape it, and, generally, we’re eating far too much of it.
FUN FACT: Americans currently consume an average of 3 pounds of sugar per week. That’s 194 grams of sugar per day. The World Health Organization recommends we dramatically cut back. They suggest that a maximum of 5% of your total daily calories come from added sugar (sugar that naturally occurs in produce and other foods is ok).
That’s 25 grams of sugar per day if you eat 2,000 calories a day and 15 grams if you eat 1,200 calories per day.
But, let’s clear one thing up: It’s actually not SUGAR, by itself, that is the main problem here.
Stay with me, here…
I propose we need to rethink how we approach our viewpoint on sugar.
Just like the demonized calories and carbs, sugar gets a bad wrap that is not necessarily deserving. “Real” sugar — the kind that exists in natural foods, like fruits, vegetables, and milk, to name a few — actually satisfies a legitimate nutritional and functional purpose in our bodies. Yep: sugar is something that exists in natural, whole foods and it provides our bodies with energy. Energy is good, in this sense.
What’s NOT good is that us sweet tooth freaks have (myself totally included), over time, developed a certain need for sweeter and sweeter things. Couple that with becoming addicted to sweet stuff and you got yourself a gold mine, if you’re a manufacturer selling sweet foods. This has led to processing sugar (i.e. high fructose corn syrup, granulated sugar, brown sugar, and so on) into what we now have in most of the packaged foods out there.
Where Sugar Hides
The current Nutrition Facts Label doesn’t differentiate between natural and added sugars, making it a challenge to know how much added sugar you are actually consuming. And until that changes, the only way to know if added sugars are in the food you are consuming is to read the ingredients list. Ingredients on the label are listed in greatest to least amount, but manufacturers are getting sneaky by using multiple sources of sugar so that a singular source doesn’t appear high on the list.
To spot sugar in the line up, check for words like:
- fruit juice concentrate
- fruit juice
- cane juice
- invert sugar
- beet sugar
- malt syrup
- corn syrup solids
- words that end in –ose like maltose, dextrose, fructose, glucose
Remember, added sugars are added sugars, no matter what lingo they are disguised under.
Ways To Slash Sugar
If you’re trying to eat better, improve fitness, manage or reduce the risk of disease, and/or lose weight, the best advice is to reduce added sugar consumption, including those more “natural” yet still concentrated sugar sources like agave, honey, and fruit juice.
Keep your added sugar intake in check by eating a variety of foods in their natural state, i.e. fresh fruits, fresh vegetables, whole grains that you cook yourself, lean proteins without sauces and marinades, and unsweetened dairy. Read ingredient labels. To cut out added sugar in a healthy way, assess your current sugar situation, and make moderate changes to progress toward your sugar goal. Drastic measures can lead to dieting, extreme or ridged thinking, and obsessive behavior, which is not the desired result.
Yes, you can still have your cake and eat it too, but eat your fruits and veggies most often. Moderation is king; sugar is not the demon… it’s the amount of sugar that makes the difference.
Ok, I will fess up!
I have NOT been on my game, although relatively speaking, NOT terrible either.
But after back to back Birthday's and Thanksgiving, I'm ready to get back to my clean(er) Mindset.
Now, I don't feel guilty or regretful, as I was in FULL control, but can tell the excess bloat is creeping.
A few of us start the 3 Day Refresh tomorrow, and I know many of you missed out on ordering (it's on back order until December 3rd), so wanted to offer this to help you all flush out the crap, as needed!
It will be 10 days worth of:
* 10-Day Sample Meal Plan
* Suggested foods to incorporate
* Suggested foods to limit for best sugar flush
* Lunch/Dinner & Snack Ideas
* Daily Water challenge
If you are even remotely in the same boat as me, I invite you to join us in our Momstrong Community for a FREE & (hopefully) FUN way to kick the cravings. Just click the link below and you will be on your way to our 10 Day Detox!
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